AEGON is to take its first step into
Turkey’s life insurance and pension market with the acquisition of
100 percent of life insurance and pension product provider Ankara
Emeklilik Anonim Sirketi (Ankara Emeklilik) from Polis Bakim ve
Yardim Sandigi, the Turkish police pension fund.

Though the purchase price was not disclosed, Ankara Emeklilik’s
total pension fund assets under management of €35 million ($52
million) indicate that the acquisition is not significant in a
monetary sense.

However, in a strategic sense Ankara Emeklilik is viewed by the
Netherlands insurer as an important entrée into Turkey. “We have
consistently identified Turkey as a market where we believe we can
leverage AEGON’s broad capabilities in life insurance and pension
products,” said AEGON’s chairman and CEO, Don Shepard. “This
acquisition provides AEGON an ideal platform to pursue growth in
this increasingly important market.”

Founded in 2003, Ankara Emeklilik has 81 branches and a staff of
396. In addition to its pensions business, the insurer provides
life insurance cover to 127,000 police employees. The insurer also
has an agreement in place to distribute via Turkish bank
Sekerbank’s national network of 236 branches.

In addition to providing an opening into the Turkish market, Ankara
Emeklilik is viewed by AEGON as providing a boost to its ambitions
in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), where it already has units in
Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.

As part of its growth strategy, AEGON is aiming to further expand
its businesses in CEE and expects to more than double its number of
pension fund members in the region to 2.5 million by 2010. The
value of its new business generated in CEE is predicted by AEGON to
rise from €46 million in 2006 to €100 million in 2010.